BOSTON -- Blue Jays second baseman Aaron Hill was out of the starting lineup on Saturday night -- one day after being struck on his right wrist with a pitch. Manager Cito Gaston said Hill is still experiencing some discomfort and is considered day-to-day.
"He tried to swing the bat and he was still a bit sore," Gaston said before Saturday's game against the Red Sox at Fenway Park. "We'll see what happens [Sunday]."
With a scheduled off-day on Thursday, it is possible that Toronto will give Hill the day off on Wednesday as well. The second baseman was struck with a pitch from Boston right-hander John Lackey during the second inning of the Blue Jays' 11-9 victory on Friday.
Entering Saturday, Hill was hitting .211 with 24 home runs and 63 RBIs through 127 games. With Hill temporarily sidelined, veteran infielder John McDonald got the nod at second base against the Red Sox.
Jays alter rotation for Yankees series
BOSTON -- With the Yankees and Rays in a fight for the American League East crown, the Blue Jays are hoping to do their part as spoilers.
Toronto has tweaked its rotation to make sure it can feature some experienced starters when New York heads to Rogers Centre for a three-game set on Sept. 27-29. Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston believes that is important for the series against the club's division rival.
"If the Yankees are still battling," Gaston said on Saturday, "which I'm pretty sure they will still be battling Tampa [Bay], we can at least put two pitchers out there that have been up here and pitched for a while."
The two pitchers in question are left-handers Marc Rzepczynski and Brett Cecil, who will start against the Yankees on Sept. 27 and 29, respectively. Rookie right-hander Kyle Drabek is slated to face the Yankees in the second game of that series.
"You've got Drabek, who [the Yankees] haven't seen before," Gaston said. "Hopefully that's going to cause a problem for them."
For Toronto's final series of the season against the Twins, who have a firm grip on first place in the AL Central, the Jays will likely feature Ricky Romero, Shaun Marcum, Rzepczynski and Drabek in a four-game set. Gaston said that could change if Minnesota clinches its division before that Sept. 30-Oct.3 series.
"We can throw some good pitchers at them if we have to," Gaston said of the Twins. "If they've already got it wrapped up, that whole thing could change, too."
Following Monday's team off-day, the Jays plan on starting Rzepczynski, Drabek and Shawn Hill, in that order, in a three-game home series against the Mariners, beginning Tuesday. Thursday's outing will likely be Hill's final start of the season for Toronto.
Gaston curious about managerial moves
BOSTON -- Retirement is just around the corner for Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston, who is stepping down at the end of this season. The same can be said for Braves manager Bobby Cox and now Dodgers manager Joe Torre as well.
Gaston believes the wave of managerial changes will make for a very unique winter.
"I think so," Gaston said on Saturday. "I think it's going to be different than any other offseason that I've ever seen, as far as managers. There might be a few more that go that people don't even know about or aren't even thinking about right now. It should be pretty interesting."
Already this season, baseball has seen a long list of changes among the managers' chairs. The Cubs, Marlins, D-backs, Orioles, Royals and Mariners all switched managers during the season and more teams could be looking for new skippers this coming offseason.
Gaston is not interested in any of the available jobs, but he is looking forward to watching how everything unfolds.
"It's something that you go and say, 'Let's stay tuned to what's going to happen next," Gaston said. "I think it's going to be interesting to see where all these guys end up or where they don't end up or might end up or whatever. There should be a lot of jobs out there."
For now, Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston has just one trip on his schedule after the season ends. Midway through October, Gaston plans on heading to Hawaii for a week-long vacation with bench coach Nick Leyva and former Jays hitting coach Gene Tenace. "I'm taking Geno and Nick Leyva to Hawaii," Gaston said, "just to show them my appreciation for what they did for me over these years I've had them around, and my gratitude for what they've done for me." Leyva worked as a coach on Gaston's staff from 1993-97 and again from 2008-present. Tenace was a member of Toronto's coaching staff under Gaston from 1990-97 and 2008-09. ... Entering Saturday, the Jays' pitching staff was 5-10 with a 5.89 ERA in September. In an effort to manage the workload of its starting pitchers, Toronto has used seven different starters already in the season's final month. Gaston believes that turnover is a main reason behind the statistical slump for the staff. "Without a doubt," Gaston said. "It doesn't only throw the guy off that you give the rest, it throws everybody else off, too. It's pretty big and hopefully next year this team doesn't have to go through that. ... But, it's something we were doing and we're doing it for the future. Hopefully it's going to benefit this team over the next few years." ... In the first inning on Saturday, Jays slugger Jose Bautista extended his single-season club record by belting his 49th home run. Bautista has a franchise-record 25 homers in the second half and has launched a Major League-leading 59 long balls dating back to Sept. 1 of last season. ... With Bautista's shot on Saturday, Toronto has clubbed at least one homer in 19 consecutive games. It is the team's longest such streak since setting a club mark with homers in 23 straight games from May 31-June 25, 2000.